Saturday, January 21, 2017

Central American Cup update

Central American Cup

Match game 5
Costa Rica
El Salvador

Honduras v Belize:                   This is a game with the best against the worst.    The Central American Cup only has one more game each for the participants. The title is almost a lock for Honduras. A win or a tie over lowly Belize will give Honduras the Championship.  Honduras has scored the most goals and should be a shoe in for the Championship. Belize are not getting blown out like they use to and they have a tie this tournament. This is be one of Belizes best performance in the Central American Cup

Panama v Costa Rica:       Well officials thought at the beginning of the tournament that this game would decide the Championship. Well Costa Rica, the darlings of The World Cup 2014 stumbled through this tournament tying 3 times. They do NOT have a chance to retain their title.  Panama also has a tie and a loss giving them 7 points and a long shot at the championship. Panama not only has to beat might Costa Rica, they also need Honduras to lose to Belize (unlikely)and beat Honduras on GF GA differential. Panama is a LONG shot to win the Cup in home turf.

El Salvador v Nicaragua:  The winner of this game will qualify directly to the Gold Cup. Nicaragua has been building through their youth teams for quite a few years now. They have shown well in this tournament. With Guatemala out of the picture – this is Nicaragua best opportunity to qualify for the second time to the Gold Cup. El Salvador does not want to relinquish their hold on 4th best in the region. El Salvador wants to challenge the top teams not the bottom nations. This game should be full of excitement and drama.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Central American Cup 2017 preview

Central American Cup 2017 - Panama

Central American Cup 2017
13–22 January 2017

            This is the 14th edition of this Cup which is bi-annual like the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The top 4 nations qualify for the Gold Cup. The 5th place team enters a playoff-series against the 5th place Caribbean nation for the last Gold Cup spot. This tournament runs Jan 13th through the 22nd. Panama will be your host.

Costa Rica dominance
Image result for costa rica fans
            Costa Rica has dominated this event. The Tico’s have been in every Championship game, except one. They have won 8 of the 12 Titles they played in. Costa Rica has won the last 2 tournaments and again they are the the favorite to win again. They are the reigning Champions and they have a lot of passionate fans.  

Hosting controversy
            This will be Panama’s 3rd time hosting the event. The problem is that neither Nicaragua nor Belize has host yet. Panama is a great pick to host however they just hosted in 2011 and 2003. I believe Panamas new influence, both economically and the prowess of the soccer success allowed them to leapfrog both Belize and Nicaragua. They all want the tournament to be well attended and Panama is the best option at this time.

More Competitive
            In previous tournaments Belize and Nicaragua were just not competitive. They would lose by multiple goals. Now they can play all nations tight. Both Belize and Nicaragua have been to the semi-finals game and each was invited to the Gold Cup. Honduras can give Costa Rica a good game. Panama has improved so much they can be Costa Ricas’ equal if they are at home. This tournament they will be the host and have all home games. This is Panama’s best chance to win the Central American Cup.

New Format with Guatemala not allowed to play
            There use to be 2 groups. One group of 3 nations and one group of 4. This was always unfair since some nations would play more group games. This years tournament Guatemala is not allowed to play. This is punishment by FIFA. The nations will all play each other once.
            To me the big game is Panama v Costa Rica. I believe the winner of this game will win the tournament. 

Bold Predictions

Related image
Rommell Stadium in Panama will host the Central American Cup 2017
  1. Panama
  2. Costa Rica
  3. Honduras
  4. El Salvador
  5. Nicaragua
  6. Belize